DRIVEN: The Eleksa CityBug, South Africa’s most affordable EV
We've been behind the wheel of the quirky CityBug.
Measuring less than 3-metres in overall length, while just 1 480 m wide and 1 520 mm tall, the CityBug as it’s known in the South African market is a product of Chinese firm Gaia. Already available in various European markets, the CityBug is marketed in South Africa by the Eleksa brand.
Seasoned importers of electric mobility, including scooters, ATVs and trikes, Eleksa is proud to introduce SA’s most affordable all-electric car.
A glance at the specifications of the CityBug highlights the fact that this quirky product offers relatively niche appeal. Limited to just 60 km/h, this fully road-legal car is indeed most comfortable sniping through the confines of a gated housing estate, a retirement village or, indeed, the side streets of a congested CBD. Able to be recharged overnight via a standard wall plug socket or a dedicated wall box charger, a fully-charged CityBug is good for an operating range of 100 km, though a second 9 kWh battery pack can be added so as to double this potential range.
Weighing just 480-kilograms, I was pleasantly surprised by just how sprightly the 4 kW CityBug is off the line. Thankfully, within such a compact package the absence of power-assisted steering isn’t missed. The importer is, however, looking into the potential of upgrading the current spec brake pads for improved overall feel and initial bite while slowing the car.
Available in blue, red, white and yellow, the Eleksa is fitted with 12-inch alloy wheels.
While the quality of the plastics used throughout the car's basic cabin could be improved upon, the CityBug nevertheless offers air-conditioning, central-locking, digital instrumentation and a large, centrally mounted touchscreen infotainment display within its packaging. This latter item incorporates smartphone-mirroring technology, as well as a reverse camera.
Like many a German sports coupé, the rear seats of the CityBug are included purely as a gesture towards accommodating passengers in this area. We’d be leaving this bench at home in lieu of additional packing space for picnic baskets etc.
The Eleksa CityBug retails for R230 000 and comes with a 12 month warranty on the vehicle and two-year warranty on the battery.
More information at www.eleksa.co.za